Concept Evaluation; Finish Concept Development
Where the Idea Generation stage was creative, the Concept Evaluation stage is analytic. We purposely separated the creative effort from the analytical effort, since the analytic process tends to interfere with the effective functioning of the creative process. In the Idea Generation stage, a comprehensive and wideranging effort was undertaken to tap into the broadest possible gamut of idea sources to ensure that no promising idea was overlooked. Since the outcome of the Product Development Process can be no better than the input of product ideas, the Idea Generation stage should produce as many product ideas as possible.
For a number of reasons, most of these ideas are not worthy of further pursuit. Given the company's overall, marketing, and product objectives as well as internal and external constraints, only a very small number of ideas can and deserve to be turned into marketable products. These ideas must be identified and distilled from the accumulated pool through a process of successive elimination. We divide this successive elimination process into two steps: (1) initial screening of product ideas and (2) comprehensive evaluation of product concepts. When these two steps result in the selection of a product concept for further development, the venture team prepares the inputs for the Technical Development stage: (1) a product performance specification and (2) a venture plan.
The primary purpose of the initial screening step is to reduce the number of product ideas to a manageable number so that concept evaluation can be conducted efficiently. The purpose of the concept evaluation step is to select one (or a few) concepts that are worthy of technical development.